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Polk Streetscape Project

Polk Street is a thriving neighborhood and commercial corridor that serves an important transportation function for San Francisco. It also has some of the highest pedestrian and bicycle collision rates in the City. On average, one person walking and one person biking are hit by a vehicle each month on Polk Street (122 in a five-year period).

For years, Polk Street has been the site of many traffic-related injuries and the corridor is currently on San Francisco’s Vision Zero High Injury Network. This network represents 12 percent of San Francisco’s surface streets and is where injuries, including severe and fatal injuries, are most concentrated.

San Francisco's Vision Zero policy calls for eliminating traffic-related fatalities by 2024.

The corridor is not only the designated street for the #No. 19 Muni bus line; it also is a preferred north-south bicycle route due to its flatter terrain. Polk Street also is a popular place for people to walk.

The Polk Streetscape Project was designed to enable safe access for all road users of all ages and abilities. Through community input and technical evaluation, the proposed design includes corridor-wide safety improvements and additional streetscape amenities at key locations.

Partnering on the project are San Francisco Public Works, San Francisco Planning Department, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

The Polk Streetscape Project aims to increase safety for people walking and biking on Polk Street, as well as improve the efficiency of transit on the corridor. This project will build on Polk Street's vibrant commercial character by improving safety and transportation choices.

Upcoming improvements on Polk Street between Beach and McAllister streets and nearby alleyways will include repaving, street base repair, sidewalk corner bulb-outs, to shorten the crossing distance, ADA-compliant curb ramp upgrades, Muni bus stop optimization; such as bus stop consolidation or relocation, bus bulb-outs for easier boarding, and left and right turn lanes to improve traffic flow, raised cycle tracks, green bike lanes, sewer replacements, water line replacement, traffic signal upgrades, high visibility crosswalks, better visibility at crosswalks, commercial-loading improvements, landscaping, tree planting, street lighting and alley enhancements to Fern Alley, to enhance the pedestrian and biscyclist experience with the creation of a well-lit plaza atmosphere, widening of the existing sidewalk, decorative asphalt, raised crosswalks, traffic calming measures and planting of palm trees.

To help achieve these improvements, the design necessitates the removal of 106 parking spaces along the Polk Street corridor and 28 spaces on side streets.

Updates on changes of design elements on the Polk Streetscape Project:

SFMTA has recently announced that plans for Polk Street bike lane will be modified from raised to road level.
 
The previous plan for the Polk Streetscape Project included a raised bike lane, with a two-inch mountable curb, on the northbound side of Polk from McAllister to Pine streets. But in our experiment with different curb designs last year on Market Street, we found that raised bike lanes on commercial streets like Polk should have a parking-protected configuration, with a lane of car parking and loading zones between the bike lane and the roadway, to prevent drivers from parking in the bikeway.
 
Making room for that parking lane on Polk would require major changes to the plan already under construction. To make the bike lane safer without a major delay, the northbound bike lane will no longer be raised but will be built at road level with plastic safe-hit posts and a painted buffer zone to separate it from the traffic lanes.
 
For more information, visit www.sfmta.com.
 
Crosswalk design at Polk and Green streets will be modified to reflect SFMTA crosswalk guidelines and to meet budget constraints.
 
Crosswalks along Polk Street are marked using continental striping. The SFMTA adopted continental crosswalk striping as the citywide standard in May 2014. The proposed decorative crosswalk shown at Polk and Green by the City in March 2014 during the community outreach phase of the project will not be used. The high visibility continental crosswalk markings help advance our goal to make Polk Street safer for everyone. We apologize for not notifying the community sooner. 
 
Please be assured that other key safety improvements will be implemented along Polk Street. The City is building on Polk Street's vibrant commercial character by investing in new lighting, landscaping, repaving, installation of a protected bike lane, sidewalk bulb-outs, traffic signal upgrades, pedestrian countdown signals and ADA curb ramp upgrades. 
 

Location

Polk Street from McAllister Street to Beach Street 
Redwood Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Elm Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Willow Street, Polk Street to Larkin Street
Olive Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Alice B. Toklas Place, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Hemlock Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Fern Street, Polk Street to Larkin Street Alleyway Improvement
Austin Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
Frank Norris Street, Polk Street to Larkin Street
Chestnut Street, Polk Street to Van Ness Avenue
North Point Street, Van Ness Avenue to Larkin Street

Visit bit.ly/PolkStreetscapeMap or click the map to the right for additional details about the project and specific details about work happening at each project location.


Project and Construction Schedule

Completed Phases:
Community outreach and planning phase: August 2012 - March 2014
Environmental review: September 2014 - January 2015
Engineering public hearing: January 30, 2015
SFMTA Board of Director approvals: March 3, 2015
Detailed Design: Spring 2015 - Winter 2015/2016

Upcoming Phases: 
Construction: October 2016 - 2018

Construction Sequence:
The Polk Streetscape Project is anticipated to be completed in six segments. The projected construction schedule is as follows*: 

Segment 5: October 2016 - May 2017
Segment 4: November 2016 - October 2017
Segment 3: April 2017 - November 2017
Segment 6: June 2017 - August 2017
Segment 2: July 2017 - March 2018
Segment 1: January 2018 - April 2018
*Please note that the construction schedule is subject to change due to rain, equipment breakdown, and/or unforeseen field conditions. Please see posted "No Parking" barricade signs for exact parking restrictions. Parking restrictions may vary per block. 

The Polk Streets Traffic Signal Upgrade Project is anticipated to begin mid-January 2017 and will continue through June 2017. Work will occur at nine intersections from Union to Post streets. 
- 01.10.2017: Work has temporarily been delayed due to inclement weather. Crews are still working on foundation and conduit work at Union, Broadway and Pacific streets. We hope to resume work as quickly as possible once the weather clears. 

- 01.05.2017 Construction Notice: Foundation and conduit work will begin starting at the intersections of Polk Street and Union, Broadway and Pacific streets. Work is anticipated to take approximately three weeks at each intersection. Once work is complete, crews will move south towards Post Street. 

The projected construction schedule and anticipated start dates*: 

Union: January  2017
Broadway: January 2017
Pacific: January 2017
Jackson:  February 2017
Washington:  February 2017
Clay: February 2017
SacramentoMarch 2017
California: March 2017
Post: March 2017
*Please note that the construction schedule is subject to change due to rain, equipment breakdown, and/or unforeseen field conditions. Please see posted "No Parking" barricade signs for exact parking restrictions. Parking restrictions may vary per block. 

Polk Streetscape Project Construction Activity Update:

02.22.17: Emergency Repair UpdateCrews will begin emergency pothole repair work on Polk Street at Hemlock  and on Polk between Broadway and Pacific (segments 2 and 3). While we were not anticipating starting work in these segments until later this summer, these emergency repairs were deemed necessary to be completed as soon as possible. To address the sewer failure issues, crews will perform repairs at Post and Hemlock and will replace the sewer main on Polk between Broadway and Pacific. 

Work on North Point Street, in segment 5, will continue during these emergency repairs in segments 3 and 2. 
 
Emergency repair activity is anticipated to take approximately 2 weeks to complete. Once the sewer work is complete, crews will resume work in segments 5 and 4 and will return to segments 3 and 2 at the originally planned schedule to complete remaining work on those blocks.
 
Construction activity on the Polk Street Traffic Signal Upgrade Project, currently on Polk Street at Union, Broadway and Pacific, will continue as normal during these emergency repairs.
 
02.10.17: Crews are continuing to work on North Point Street, performing sewer and water work and will prepare to complete culvert replacement and streetbase installation on North Point Street from Van Ness Avenue to Larkin streets by the end of next week, weather permitting. Crews will then begin water installation work on Polk Street from North Point to Bay streets. 

01.30.17The contractor working on the Polk Streetscape Project hit a 2-inch gas line at approximately 12:15 PM on Monday, January 30, 2017 on the 900 block of North Point Street. SFMTA shut down through traffic and cordoned off North Point Street from Polk to Larkin streets. The line that was damaged was a gas line fronting 901 North Point Street. 

Per protocol, the San Francisco Fire Department and PG&E were notified immediately and responded quickly onsite to address the situation. The gas line leak was shut off by PG&E crews at approximately 1:45 PM. There were no injuries and no property damage. 
 
Residents and businesses of North Point Street between Polk to Larkin Street were evacuated as a precautionary measure as the San Francisco Fire Department and PG&E worked to repair the break. Residents and businesses were allowed to return to their properties at approximately 1:50 PM. 
 
Public Works has temporarily suspended the contractor's work until the matter can be reviewed internally and an investigation conducted. Safety is our No. 1 priority and we are using this incident to review best practices and reduce the likelihood of this type of incident from happening again. 
 
We apologize for the short interruption in construction work and for any inconvenience this incident may have caused. 
 
01.27.17: Crews worked on water main installation work on North Point Street from Polk to Larkin streets in Segment 5 and will continue to do so over the next two weeks. Once water main installation work is complete, crews will perform culvert replacement and street base work on North Point Street from Van Ness Avenue to Larkin Street, followed by water work on Polk Street from North Point to Bay streets. 
 
01.13.17: Public Works offices will be closed on Monday, January 16, 2017 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Offices will reopen and construction activity will resume on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. 
 
01.06.17: Crews have resumed work in Segment 5 on North Point Street, to perform water main installation work. 
 
12.19.16: Crews are working on sewer main installation work on Polk Street between Chestnut and Lombard streets and will continue with sewer main and side sewer work through the following week. There is no planned construction activity beginning Friday, December 23 through Monday, December 26, 2016. Work will resume Tuesday, December 27, 2016 and will begin with sewer main and side sewer replacement work on Polk Street from Francisco to Bay streets. 

11.23.16: Crews will not be working on Thursday November 24, 2016 or Friday November 25, 2016 in observance of Thanksgiving. Parking restrictions will NOT be in effect on Polk Street between Francisco and Chestnut streets on these days.  Work will resume Monday, November 28, 2016.

Crews have completed sewer main installation work, side sewer laterals, catch basin, culverts and manholes installation work on North Point Street between Polk and Larkin streets.  Additional construction activity on North Point Street in segment 5 will be postponed for the remainder of the year (November 24, 2016 to January 1, 2017).

Work will resume in January 2017 to perform water main installation and concrete flatwork on North Point Street from Van Ness to Larkin.

Crews will continue to work in Segment 4. Work will resume Monday November 28, 2016, to perform sewer main installation work on Polk between Francisco and Chestnut streets.

11.17.16: Crews have completed side sewer laterals, catch basin and culvert work on North Point Street. Monitoring equipment was installed on Polk at Bay and Lombard during the weekend of November 12-13, 2016. Work in Segment 5 on North Point Street will be postponed for the remainder of the year and will resume in January 2017. Crews will continue to work in Segment 4 performing sewer main alignment and installation work. 

Crews will work on sewer main installation on Polk Streer from Francisco to Chestnut streets the week of November 21, 2016 but will not be working on Thursday November 24 or Friday November 25 in observance of Thanksgiving. Crews will resume sewer main work on Polk between Francisco and Chestnut the week of November 28, 2016 and crews are anticipated to work the weekend of December 3-4, 2016 to install a manhole at Polk and Bay. 

11.10.16: Crews are nearing completion of side sewer laterals and manhole installation work on North Point Street. Crews will work normal construction hours on Veterans Day, Friday November 11, 2016.

Monitoring equipment will be installed on Polk at Bay and Lombard the weekend of November 12-13, 2016 to protect the Auxiliary Water Supply System during construction on the sewer line. Crews will continue catch basin and culvert work on North Point Street from Polk to Larkin streets the week of November 14, 2106 and will begin saw cutting activity in preparation for sewer main installation work on Polk Street from Francisco to Chestnut streets.

11.04.16Crews have completed sewer main installation in Segment 5 on North Point Street from Polk to Larkin streets, and have begun installation work of side sewer laterals, catch basins and culverts. Crews will continue catch basin and culvert work on North Point Street from Polk to Larkin streets the week of 11/07/16 through the week of 11/14/16. Potholing activity for water main installation work will be conducted November 8-10, 2016. 

Construction activity in Segment 4 (Polk Street, from Beach to Vallejo streets) will will begin November 8, 2016, starting with saw cutting and sewer main work on Polk Street from Francisco to Chestnut streets. AWSS (Auxiliary Water Supply System) monitoring work on Polk Street at Bay and Lombard streets will be conducted the weekend of November 12-13, 2016.

On Friday 11/4/16, at approximately 8:30 AM, there was a ½ inch gas service line break in front of #977/979 North Point Street, servicing 993-995 North Point Street. Proper protocols were followed and SFPD & PG&E were immediately altered and dispatched to the scene. PG&E crews repaired the service line and restored service. There were no reports of injuries or property damages.  

10.27.16: Installation of the main sewer line on North Point Street from Polk to Larkin streets is progressing and main line installation work is anticipated to be complete by early next week. Crews will begin installation of side sewer laterals, followed by catch basin and culvert work on North Point Street from Polk to Larkin streets the week of 10/31/16. Work crews will complete catch basin and culvert work and begin potholing activity for water main installation. Once testing is complete, water main installation work will begin on North Point Street from Van Ness Avenue to Polk Street, followed by water main installation on Polk Street from North Point to Bay streets.

Construction on Segment 4 (Polk Street from Beach to Vallejo streets) will start November 9, 2016 and will begin with installation of man holes at Bay Street, followed by sewer and water work, concrete flatwork, electrical work and final grinding and paving. Enhancements for this segment will include: installation of ADA curb ramps, sidewalk bulb-outs, bicycle lane improvements, street light upgrades, landscaping and roadway work. 

10.21.16: Construction began on North Point Street, from Polk to Larkin streets (Segment 5), on October 17, 2016. 

Crews performed sewer utility repair work, starting with trenching and sewer pipe replacement. Sewer work will continue next week and is anticipated to be completed on 11/18/16. 
Once sewer work is complete, water main installation work will begin on North Point Street from Van Ness Avenue to Post Street, then on Polk Street from North Point to Bay streets. 
Once excavation and utility repair work is complete, crews will begin concrete flatwork (i.e. ADA curb ramps and Muni bus boarding island). 

10.14.16: Construction activity will begin Monday October 17, 2016 on Segment 5, North Point Street from Van Ness Avenue to Larkin Street. M Squared Construction have set up “No Parking” barricade signs along the construction area in advance of work starting next week. Once construction begins, pedestrian pathways and access to private or commercial buildings, including access to driveways and parking garages will be maintained at all times, however delays may be possible. Please observe parking and traffic signage and allow extra travel time in case of traffic delays during construction. Crews will begin sewer replacement work on North Point Street from Polk to Larkin streets. Work will consist of installation of sewer pipes, manholes, side sewers, catch basins and culverts. Anticipated sewer work duration: 10/17/16-11/18/16. Once sewer work is complete, water main installation work will begin on North Point Street from Van Ness Avenue to Larkin Street. 

10.06.16: The Polk Streetscape and Van Ness Improvement Project Open House was held October 5, 2016 at Tenderloin Community School. Below, please find the information boards presented at that community meeting and other documents shared that evening. 
Information Boards | SFMTA FAQ Document | Segment Map* | Construction Map*

*Please note, construction scheudle and activity is subject to change. Document version: 10.05.16

09.14.16: Construction for the Polk Streetscape Project will begin in October 2016 and continue through late 2018.

Pre-construction activity will occur between September 19-30, 2016 and will include project sign installation, soil sampling and testing. Hand augering and drilling to collect soil samples will occur at the following locations:

  • North Point street, between Polk and Larkin
    Polk street between Bay and Francisco streets
    Polk street between Francisco and Chestnut streets
    Intersection of Polk and Lombard street
    Polk street between Filbert and Union streets
    Polk street between Broadway and Pacific Ave.
    Polk street between California and Pine streets
    Frank Norris street
    Austin street between Van Ness Ave. and Polk street
    Intersection of Polk street and Hemlock street, and
    Olive street between Van Ness Ave and Polk street
    North Point street, between Van Ness Ave. and Polk street
    Polk street, between North Point and Bay streets
    Chestnut street, between Van Ness Ave. and Polk street
    Polk street, between Greenwich and Filbert streets
    Hemlock street, between Van Ness Ave. and Polk street

Sampling Work is anticipated to take approximately 2 hours at each location. Temporary parking restrictions may be in place at these locations as soil samples are collected.

Construction Update Notice
09.14.16: English | Chinese - 繁體中文 | Spanish - Español | Tagalog - Filipino

08.30.16: Soil Sampling work is anticipated to start the third week of September at 16 locations. Work is anticipated to take a few hours at each location and will result in temporary parking restrictions. Notices will be posted 72 hours before work begins. Please see posted no parking signs for more information. 
 

Construction Cost / Funding

Approximately $18,000,000
This project was made possible in part by Proposition K Sales Tax dollars provided by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

This project is also partially funded by: 
2011 Road Paving and Street Safety Bond (Prop B)
2014 Transportation and Road Improvement Bond (Prop A)
Proposition K - Your Sales Tax Dollars at Work
PUC Wastewater Bond Fund
PUC Water Enterprise Bond Fund
SFMTA Revenue Bond
Lower Polk Neighbors
Lower Polk Community Benefit District

Additional Information

More information on the Polk Streetscape Project can be found on the following partner websites:
Municipal Transportation Agency
SF Planning

Related Projects: 
Van Ness Improvement Project
19-Polk Bus Stop Changes

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Streets & Streetscapes
STATUS In Progress
Location
Polk Street, from McAllister St. to Beach St.
Start Date August 2016
Completion Date December 2018
Budget
$18,000,000
Project Manager
Cristina Olea
Project Team
Contact
Coma Te
Phone
(415) 558-5283